Borders Assimilation Impact after Pay Reform?


Following our previous bulletin of the 13th June the NCOA are able to provide the following update.

On the 26th May the NCOA wrote to the NCA seeking agreement from the Agency to: 

1. Provide clear information about plans for Borders staff in the future under Transformation proposals. 

2. Provide clear information about what impact these Transformation proposals will have on Borders officers’ allowances should they retain them as part of their assimilation offer.                                                                                        

3. Provide clear information as to which “Borders” sites are likely to disappear, shrink or be re-populated as part of the Transformation process.

In a formal response dated the 7th June, the Agency failed to answer any of these questions.

On the 9th June, the NCOA sent a further letter to the head of Transformation providing further rationale to re-consider providing the information we requested on your behalf. We also asked for the Agency to;

4. Outline over the next 12 – 18 months when further assimilation ‘windows’ will be made to those officers who chose not to assimilate at the point of the 31st July 2017 deadline.

5. Outline whether non-assimilated officers will be excluded from the benefits of successful Pay reform within the NCA. (Assuming pay reform proposals are successful).

On the 23rd June we raised the matter informally with the DDG.

On the 28th June, having received no response to our formal letter, the NCOA met informally with the head of Transformation to articulate clearly the issues we had raised and the need for greater clarity.

On the 30th June, (some three weeks after our letter) we finally received a response from the Head of Transformation which again failed to answer any of the questions raised. However the letter was clear that that Agency would not extend the current opt in period.

On the 5th July the NCOA raised the matter formally at the Joint Negotiating Consultation Committee (JNCC) highlighting our concerns at the lack of information and apparent transparency by the Agency. This meeting is Chaired by the DDG and attended by other senior NCA figures to resolve ongoing Trade union issues which have failed to identify an informal resolution.  

At that meeting the Agency was adamant that there is nothing underhand going on and that they genuinely have no information or made plans which will adversely impact on any decision to assimilate on to NCA terms. The current trials going on across that are just that, trials. An assessment of these trials will not be concluded until early 2018.

Whilst the trajectory for Operational roles seems quite clear, the Agency are saying nothing is cast in stone and you are being asked to make a decision based on what you know now.

Although they [NCA] have fallen short of revealing their ‘tentative’ plans for the future, the NCOA have ‘secured a commitment’ from the Agency to;

  • Carrying out an impact assessment and engagement with the NCOA to re-open discussions on Borders Staff assimilation issues, should fundamental changes come to light as a result of Transformation.          
  • Carrying out an impact assessment and implementation strategy re Pay reform for Borders Staff who have not assimilated onto NCA terms by the 31st July.

It is important to stress that it is the NCOA that has secured an agreement with the NCA where they are now willing to discuss a possible second opt-in with us if future changes turn out to be significant. This is a critical concession as non-assimilated officers who have been offered terms, are normally excluded from Pay awards, and any agreed Pay reform changes.

At the request of the NCOA, the Agency has also agreed to send HR and Transformation representatives to Heathrow where many of you have not yet signed across. At this time you will be able to discuss face to face the concerns you currently have regarding Assimilation. It is of course hoped that this will take place before the 31st July.

We will update you should any further significant information come to light.

To see the letters between the NCOA and NCA in full, please use these links:

NCOA to NCA - 26.05.2017

NCA Response - 26.05.17

NCOA to NCA - 09.06.2017

NCA Response - 09.06.17